What are Dental Fillings?
A filling is often needed when a tooth has started to become decayed, creating a cavity. When a cavity develops, decay begins to infiltrate the enamel of the tooth, as well as the inner dentin of the tooth. Over time, the decay can worsen and eventually reach the pulp (nerve) of the tooth, causing it to become infected. Before the decay is allowed get to this point, it can be removed, and a filling put into its place.
Why are Dental Fillings needed?
The most common reason you may require a filling is because you have developed at least one cavity. Fillings can be helpful for both large and small cavities, and can be used to fill cavities in virtually any tooth inside the mouth. It is best to have any cavity filled as soon as decay is found to prevent it from getting worse, leading to more extensive dental treatment. Fillings are one of the most common dental restorations used worldwide.
Who is a candidate for Dental Fillings?
With the help of an examination, Dr. Ferdkoff will determine if you have any cavities, and decide the best way to go about placing a filling. In some cases, a dental x-ray is necessary to identify additional areas of decay, or better understand the extent of damage to a decayed tooth. Patients of all ages can be susceptible to tooth decay, but poor oral hygiene and eating habits increase the chances of developing cavities. If you need multiple fillings, they can be placed at the same appointment as long as they are located within the same area of the mouth.
What happens during the Dental Filling process?
First, Dr. Ferdkoff will numb the area using a local anesthetic. Once you’re comfortable, the decay is removed from your tooth using a slow speed drill. Once it’s removed, the small hole left behind is prepped for the actual filling, ensuring that the filling will have a good bond with the existing enamel. A tooth-colored composite filling is matched to your tooth, and then placed in the hole that was drilled. It’s next smoothed out, and cured with a bright light to harden it into place. Because the filling is tooth-colored, it’ll be barely visible, blending in well with the rest of your smile. Fillings can last for many years, or even decades, before needing replacement.
If you think you might need a filling, and want to come into our office for an exam, call us today so that we can get you in for an appointment. Our office offers extended hours on Thursday to make scheduling an appointment easier and more convenient.